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Comment Re: Positive feedback? (Score 1) 314

Some schools bend over backwards, but not Stanford. (at least that was the case 25 years ago)
All the places I got accepted to offered a financial aid package that made some sort of sense, albeit still difficult for my family.
What Stanford offered was a joke. It expected me to come up with 12K-per year, and my folks for another 12K ish, which the financial aid forms clearly showed we don't have. (the numbers are fuzzy, but it was all ridiculous.) They were telling me to my face "if you're not rich, no need to apply".

So I went elsewhere. They weren't my first choice anyways.

Comment Re:No steam = just about useless (Score 2) 129

I bought the X-COM series (the first 3) a while back. I could easily copy the DOS executable and associated files over to my regular DOSBox folder and play it. In fact, I keep my DOSBox folder on an SD card so that I can move it around to any of my computers and play it at will, even on computers that don't run Steam.

So surely, you're exaggerating. Maybe "some" or "many" games stop working but not "all".

(Oddly enough, some games on Steam that are obviously just DOSBox wrappers around the original game aren't available on MacOS, even if I could easily manually copy the DOS files over to the Mac version of DOSBox w/o issue. GOG seems to do this better.)

Comment Re:Lead? (Score 1) 105

Coincidentally, I was just mulling over the lead thing this morning before I saw this. My pet theory/wishful thinking is that just as we saw reduction in petty crime rate as the "leaded generation" moved out from that age group (teens-30), we will see reduction in "big" crime as the leaded generation moves out of positions of power and influence. Most politicians and business leaders of influence are 50-70 range. It's possible that even at levels that don't cause a measurable decrease in IQ, lead may affect decision making and long term planning in ways that, on the average across the population, are detrimental to society. (In D&D terms, if everyone took a -1 to WIS penalty across the population, individual effects might be small, but the population effects would be large.)

I also speculate (or it's my wishful thinking that) the general "I got mine FU" attitude and anti-science denialism also stems from this.

Comment Re:enough (Score 1) 478

I think fondly of my 'Pismo'.
  -RAM - upgradable, two slots, up to 1GB (!!!)
  -Hard drive - upgradable, no silly 8GB/32GB BIOS barriers like the competition
  -CPU - upgradable (for a while, some vendors would take your CPU card and replace the G3 with a G4)
  -optical bay - upgradable/swappable, supports two battery mode
  -wireless card - replaceable (Built-in wireless was rare back then)
  -2xUSB & 2xFirewire & VGA out & audio in/out & Ethernet
  -Cardbus with Zoomed Video
  -One of the first laptops to feature Rage128 AGP, usable for gaming
  -Modem and IR ports

It really was a beautiful machine. Expensive, but had the features to show for it.
Apple have jumped the shark. Won't buy another until they bring back replaceable RAM/storage and ethernet port (or ethernet itself becomes obsolete).

Comment Re:But what would the adapter connect to? (Score 1) 495

I let it slide... Just once, while I prepare my Linux transition (I'll do it slowly over the next few years). It's annoying enough that they ditched the Ethernet port. If I need to have yet another dongle to have basic functionality, it's just not worth it any more. I use the 3.5mm jack daily with earphones I already own and work perfectly fine. I'll miss OS X and the goodies it comes with, but the hardware is losing functionality with every generation, which is ridiculous. They might get my money again if they put the Ethernet port back in and leave the audio jack alone. Or maybe, if they are replaced with something clearly superior in every way. (I'm not aware of any such tech, though.)

Comment makes me sick. (Score 1) 351

I was in college when my roommate told me about the coolest new game; it's like Wolfenstein but better. It being college, somebody kindly left some bootleg copies in the lab computers between the routine clean-up/reimage. I was initially uninterested, but eventually gave it a try. After one all-night session a few weeks later, I crawled out of the lab feeling somewhat ill. Ever since then, playing Doom makes me slightly nauseous. I don't have any problems with other games like Descent, but I'm sick of Doom forever. Maybe, 20-odd years later, the effect has worn off...

Comment Re: Snap Circuits disappointment (Score 1) 200

Ditto here. The wife got the grandparent to get it for the kids. It is a bit of a disappointment. I wish it at least had a couple of different resistor values, a few caps, and maybe a discrete transistor or two. In terms of documentation for the "IC" blocks, the manual did contain some description, and the PDF on their web site contains the internal circuit diagram (well, sort of. The inside of their custom ICs are still "black box".) I had one of these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... as a kid. It was wonderful. I wish my folks didn't get rid of it after I moved out. My brother had one o these http://cba.sakura.ne.jp/ex/mx1..., which I inherited after he moved on to bigger and better things. Both of those beat the pants off of snap circuits.

Comment Signing cameras (Score 1) 41

I don't know about identifying things after the fact, but an idea I've tossed around for a few years now is a forensic digital camera. Basically, the hardware will sign/watermark all the photos it takes with some sort of digital signature unique to the camera. The private key would be buried in silicon in such a way as to destroy it if attempts are made to discover it. I'm not a security/encryption expert by any means, so I don't know how feasible this is (or does it already exist?) but sounds plausible to me.

Comment Re:My worry is the credibility loss of visual reco (Score 1) 61

One of the ideas I've had for a long time is to make digital cameras that cryptographically sign every photo. Maybe such things already exist. I'm not expert enough on those matters to tell whether there are pitfalls in this idea. The key would have to be buried in the silicon somehow such that attempts to get at it would destroy it.

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